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J&MWedding (Jill)'s Dreams Review

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#1 J&MWedding

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    Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:02 PM

    First off, I want to apologize to you girls for not posting this sooner!!! I’m sure you understand between the wedding, the honeymoon, returning to work, then Christmas, and then New Years! Holy moly!!!!!

    Ok, where do I begin now…?

    I have to say that I am so glad we planned our wedding for this time of the year. It just worked out perfectly! It was very nice to return from two weeks and then it was Christmas already and the joy just kept on going between our families and friends!!

    Dreams Resort Puerto Vallarta - A+
    Let me start of by saying that my family is already in the works of planning another vacation to this exact resort! We had never been to an all inclusive before, so keep that in consideration. We were floored that it was so easy to get anything you wanted to eat or drink. Just like Jess, I had a friend that was upgraded to a two story suite, and we were not. We stayed in the Junior suite tower along with our parents and grandparents. All our other guests were staying in the older tower. Our room was exactly like it looked in the pics I saw on tripadvisor. We were upgraded through our TA with a Jacuzzi room, which we did end up using a few times with our friends. We actually poured shampoo in the jacuzzi the third night and my girlfriends and I were all splashing around drinking coronas. The staff was amazing! The drinks were good – I liked the Dirty Monkey a lot – when I asked one of the bartenders to make it stronger, he said that was called the Dirty Gorilla so we started using that. Their activities were fun and I really thought it was great that they had that available to their guests. Overall, the resort was very comfortable, very safe, and very accommodating.
    Restaurants: We went to every single restaurant while we were there – I didn’t want to miss one. I would probably have to say that Oceana was my favorite because I like seafood and I liked their shrimp tempura rolls. We went to Portofino the night before the wedding, but of course they had to sit our groups separately. So we had tables scattered across the whole restaurant with our party, but no one really cared. We always just met up the Rendezvous Bar afterwards and went from there.

    Welcome Cocktail Hour – A
    We just had everyone meet at Rendezvous Bar around 7pm and it was so easy. We showed up a little early and gathered chairs in an area on the patio for our group and then our party just slowly trickled in. There was a cocktail waitress getting our drinks and everyone got to meet each other while we handed out our Welcome Bags. My husband and I also gave our speech at that time thanking everyone for coming.

    Wedding Day Spa - B-
    So, I booked two months in advance the following appmnts: (3) manicures at the same time (they said they could accommodate that), (3) hairstyles (my MOH, myself, and my mom) and (1) bridal makeup.
    Not only did I book all of those, I also had two messages while I was there (I loved them) and my friends booked (3) messages and manicures – so I definitely brought them business. I came in the morning of the wedding and had a stress relief message at 10am for 30 min and the message was just the ticket for the wedding!!! I had my manicure with two of my girlfriends at 11am and they said they couldn’t do all of us at the same time (even though they confirmed earlier they could), so one of my girlfriends just went in the sauna instead. After my manicure, I got my hair done at noon and then my makeup was supposed to be 1pm while my mom’s hairstyle was supposed to be at 1pm – again, they said they could accommodate both of us at the same time, but they couldn’t. My mom ended up having to go at 2pm which meant she didn’t get done until 3pm (and that is when our photog showed up) – so my mom was all stressed out running behind schedule.
    In the end, I do have to say that all the hair and makeup that was done for the wedding turned out absolutely perfect!!!!! I recommend seeing Dolce in the spa for your hair! She did such a good job! The lesson for me was that their receptionist wasn’t doing a good job, but their stylists were.

    My Planning Thread40 people booked plus bride & groom

    #2 J&MWedding

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      Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:04 PM

      Wedding at Gazebo – A
      Perfect, amazing! Gorgeous! It was a beautiful day! No clouds in sight, but it was a little hot while we were taking pics. Everyone was seated at the gazebo and when I walked down, it just looked amazing. The only little thing that didn’t work was the width of the aisle. It was too narrow and it made it hard for my dad and I to fit.
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Click the image to open in full size.

      Wedding Reception at Las Palmas – A
      I highly recommend having the ceremony at the Gazebo and then the reception here (if you can fit everyone). Las Palmas was just up a few steps from the Gazebo, so it made for a good easy transition. Everyone was laid out just how I envisioned. I can’t believe that doing everything via email actually worked out. I just gave all my wedding things I brought to Rebeca and she created amazing centerpieces and guestbook table. It was perfect! I loved how the bar and dance floor area was off to the side so separate from the dining area. We had 42 guests total and we had 5 tables plus our sweetheart table. Sad to say, the only person who jumped in the pool was our 5 year old nephew – he got pushed in.

      Wedding Reception Staff – A++++++++
      I can not say enough good things about the wait staff! A shout out to Edson, our bartender! Who gave us as many tequila shots as we asked for  The head waiter did a fabulous job also. We never went without a drink in our hands and the food was served fast and warm. I had the calamari as the appetizer, the crab salad as second course, and then a choice of stuffed mahi or chicken for main course and all of it was really good. My favorite was the crab and citrus salad – I highly recommend getting this one! Everyone said they loved the mahi too!
      Tipping the staff:
      I asked Rebeca earlier how much she sees people usually tip, and she said the waiters typically get somewhere between $20-$30 each. I gave everyone $40 each, and then the bartender Edson and the head waiter $60 each because they literally helped me out a lot. Rebeca didn’t tell them to bring my photog a meal, so I told the head waiter and he took care of it for me. I believe total, I spent about $240 for all the tips and I felt very good about the amount I gave them too. I had my MOH give out the tip money so I didn’t have to worry about it.

      Wedding Reception DJ – C
      I’m not sure if I’m being reasonable on this or not, since we did just decide to go with the DJ hired through Rebeca. He did have the song list I emailed Rebeca and played most of the songs, but he did get our cake cutting song wrong and my MOH had to stand in as the MC towards the end because he wasn’t announcing anything (I think my MOH said he couldn’t’ speak English?) He did a great job on the dancing songs and everyone told me that they didn’t even notice the few mistakes.
      Wedding Reception Mexican Trio
      This was included in our package and they played while we were getting our pictures done, so I didn’t get to see them, but everyone said they were awesome! Our guests were really excited.

      Fireworks – A
      We had a small budget for our fireworks, but my husband really wanted them, so our firework show was short, but it was still nice. The next day at the resort, guests were overhearing that we were the ones who got married and thanked us for the free firework show from their balcony.

      Dreams Wedding Coordinator – B+
      Rebeca was very nice and I did like her a lot. We were supposed to meet with her three days before the wedding to give her the centerpiece stuff I brought etc but she was out of her office sick, so that was postponed. I didn’t get to meet her until we did our rehearsal Thursday morning. (wedding was Friday). We did our rehearsal with everyone and then went to her office to give her everything. I had to explain where I wanted certain things and what they were for. I told her that I had brought me own bouts but that I wanted three corsages instead and one MOH bouquet. It was pretty simple. About 15 minutes before the wedding, Rebeca showed up with 5 bouts, no corsages, and no MOH bouquet. I didn’t panic, I just told her to put something together for my MOH and we gave the bouts to the moms to pin on themselves. She ended up handing my MOH her bouquet as she was walking down the aisle and is was just a few roses thrown together. Honestly, it really wasn’t a big deal and we didn’t really care, I was more shocked that she had forgotten. During the wedding reception, I didn’t see Rebeca at all. I thought I would, but I could never find her. We had to use the head waiter to ask about the fireworks and the cake cutting.
      All in all, I can definitely see the advantage with using an outside WC (such as some on this forum), but if you don’t have the budget, I wouldn’t worry about it either. Rebeca did a great job with the centerpieces, my bouquet, and everything else. It was a just a few things that went wrong but didn’t affect the party at all. The next day when we went to pay our bill for the wedding, there were no surprises and the total was just as I had expected which was nice.

      Favors A+++
      I ordered maracas from Mishka and they were perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Mishka! Totally worth it! Our guests loved them and every time they wanted us to kiss during the reception, they would whip these out and shake.

      Photography – Paulina Ulloa – A+++
      This was my one little splurge on our budget. We didn’t have a big budget, but I did want to be happy with our pictures in the end. I booked Paulina for 6 hours (3-9pm). Paulina showed up in my room an hour before the wedding with her assistant, Rodrigo. He explained he would be translating everything for her. They were the nicest people and we felt very comfortable with them. The language barrier was not a problem at all. Most of the time, you could understand what she wanted just by her jestures. We didn’t have engagement photos so this was our first “photo shoot”, so to me, it was weird to have all this attention, but Paulina kept giving us compliments when were doing good and telling us we looked beautiful. She was very sweet! I can’t wait to see our pro pics!

      I have to emphasize that I would strongly recommend getting married at Dreams and also having a destination wedding. After our wedding, everyone was thanking us for choosing Puerto Vallarta and that they hoped others would follow in our footsteps. I know I mentioned a few things that “went wrong,” but I want to stress that most of it was inconsequential. It really was a perfect day and everything I had envisioned – exactly - and I don’t regret anything about it.

      My Planning Thread40 people booked plus bride & groom

      #3 J&MWedding

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        Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:26 PM

        Here is a link to my photobucket slideshow non-pro pics obviously: (hope it works)
        Puerto Vallarta Wedding pictures by jillianbeth34 - Photobucket

        My Planning Thread40 people booked plus bride & groom

        #4 baj

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          Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:38 PM

          congrat's & thanks for sharing your great review & pics

          #5 Butterflyf369

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            Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:52 PM

            Thanks for the great review. I totally loved your dress!

            #6 weddinggirl72

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              Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:04 AM

              Hi Jill, great review!!!! I cant wait to see your pics from Paulina! I'm so nervous about the photography...it's expensive and I want to make sure I made the right decision. Your event sounds like it was a ton of fun! I really don't understand why Dreams refuses to upgrade the bride and the groom! Seriously, the couple getting married needs to have 1st priority!! Oh well, sounds like you had a fab event despite not getting the upgrade.
              So far 68 RSVP's and 56 people are booked to stay at the resort!

              #7 SheriB

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                Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:32 AM

                Thanks for the great review! The more I read about Dreams, the more excited I get. Can I ask what your dress is? I LOVE it - you were gorgeous!!

                #8 vdaybride

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                • 1,412 posts

                  Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:31 AM

                  What a great review, you looked beautiful. COngrats on being a Mrs.!
                  Married 2-14-2010 Dreams, Los Cabos


                  #9 *Meagan*

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                    Posted 05 January 2010 - 04:56 AM

                    Great review! Thanks for sharing! Congrats and your dress is STUNNING!

                    #10 Helen_S81

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                      Posted 05 January 2010 - 09:54 AM

                      Congratulations on your beautiful wedding! Thanks for the review and I can't wait to see the professional pictures!

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